Backyard deer hunting

Inexpensive food from the outdoors

Inexpensive Deer Guns for New Hunters

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The author's H&R .45-70. A similar rifle is now made by New England Firearms.

The author's H&R .45-70. A similar rifle is now made by New England Firearms.

Click on the iBooks image to order Book

  There is an undesirable trend for new hunters to think along the lines of, “how fast can it shoot?” or “how many shots can it hold?” or “how powerful is it?”  In these economic times the more pressing questions are “can I afford it?” and “can I shoot it well enough to put the bullet where it needs to be?”

  I recommend inexpensive single-shot rifles in my book Backyard Deer Hunting. The critical thing in deer hunting is putting that first shot in the right place. I personally like New England Firearms’ drop-barreled shotguns and rifles chambered for short-ranged rimmed cartridges like the .44 Remington Magnum, .30-30 Winchester and .45-70 Government as first deer rifles. These now sell in the range of about $300 as does a similar drop-barreled Rossi. For those of us with aging eyes, both may be fitted with scope sights.

Used .30-30 Win. cases, .44 Rem. Mag., and factory and reloaded .45-70.

Used .30-30 Win. cases, .44 Rem. Mag., and factory and reloaded .45-70.

 

Traditions All-Weather .50-caliber muzzleloader.

Traditions All-Weather .50-caliber muzzleloader.

 For about $200 Traditions has their Deerhunter line of muzzleloaders in .50 caliber. These light-weight side-hammer guns are best used with iron sights and modest loads of about 85-grains of FFg or Pyrodex RS with bullets of about 300 grains or round balls. The all-weather version shown retails for about $180.

 I noted an excellent value in Cabela’s Christmas ’09 catalogue. This is their Buckhorn 209 Magnum which has the convenience of being a striker-fired muzzleloader that can use pellets at a price (with rebates) of $99.00. Although many more complex mechanisms have been developed, I always liked the striker-fired approach first popularized  by Tony Knight.  Use two pellets of Hodgdon’s Triple Seven powder, Winchester Triple Seven 209 primers and PowerBelts’ 295 grain bullets and shoot from a rest. Do these things and this gun will kill deer year after year if you clean it with soap and water after each shooting session or hunt.  You can even get the gun with a scope and a starter package for $239.95 (recommended).

CVA's .50-caliber Buckhorn 209 Magnum. An inexpensive striker-fired in-line muzzleloader.

CVA's .50-caliber Buckhorn 209 Magnum. An inexpensive striker-fired in-line muzzleloader.

  If you don’t want to go muzzleloading, but still want to save money, all of the recommended cartridges may be handloaded with simple Lyman tong tools using readily available components. Handloading reduces costs and also allows the user to work up low-recoiling loads. These are light-weight guns and I sometimes  increase the weight by adding a lead shot-wax mixture in the hollow buttstock.

  These are close-range deer rifles, that when supported by a rest of some sort, can take deer out to 65-yards (muzzleloader) or 100 yards (cartridge) even when used with iron sights. With practice, the guns’ ranges may be extended, but most hunters don’t shoot often enough to really learn their guns.
Click on the iBooks image to order Book

Written by hoveysmith

September 30, 2009 at 7:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. […] Inexpensive Deer Guns for New Hunters « Backyard deer hunting […]

  2. Thanks for recommending this article to your readers. For more along the line of inexpensive deer hunting check out my book, “Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound” from Amazon.com and other sources.

    hoveysmith

    October 3, 2009 at 6:47 am

  3. […] Inexpensive Deer Guns for New Hunters (Sep 30, 2009) […]


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